Film Reviews

Thelma, or: Ha Det Bra 2018

Wrapping up this non-Collab month has turned into creepy horror with lesbian themes–perfect as this is exactly the kind of thing that happens organically as part of the blog collab.  This week’s film takes us from the humid streets of Brazil to the frigid landscape of Norway.

The Film:

Thelma

The Premise:

After moving to an Oslo university from small-town Norway, the titular Thelma begins to experience seizures that come with an ominous twist.

The Ramble:

As a child, Thelma’s father takes her out hunting in the woods that surround their small Norwegian hometown.  It isn’t long before family bonding time becomes sinister as Thelma’s father points out a deer…then turns to raise the rifle at the back of his daughter’s head.  Why? Just wait approximately 119 minutes and you’ll find out.

in a snowy landscape, a man follows the gesture of a young girl wearing pink pajamas

12 years later, Thelma finds university life in Oslo jarring after years of small-town, religious upbringing.  Thelma sees her parents as stern but loving even though she has memories of her hand being held over an open flame and is afraid of uttering “Jesus Satan” lest she offend the rather Old Testament God of her parents.

Thelma keeps to herself and spends many of her days studying quietly in the library.  That is, until the day she is sitting next to gorgeous fellow student Anja one moment and in the midst of a seizure the next.  Thelma keeps her medical issues a secret from her parents, though she gives doctors access to her medical records as they try to find the cause of her seizures.

a young woman in hospital clothes levitates in a minimalist room

Despite the challenges piling up for Thelma, she does manage to befriend Anja.  However, Thelma finds it rather unsettling when she seems to telepathically summon Anja over in the middle of the night and almost takes out several rows of theatergoers with her mind.  When the two share a romantic moment, Thelma panics and immediately severs ties with Anja.

two young women sit side-by-side as part of an audience in a theater

Thelma joins a gospel choir, goes to parties with a boy, and pretty much tries to pray the gay away.  As Thelma suffers another seizure under observation, Anja suddenly disappears. The psychiatrist diagnoses Thelma with non-epileptic seizures, which are physical manifestations of her mental suppression.  No shit, dude.

As the memories flood back about the disappearance of her younger brother, Thelma realizes she caused Anja to vanish.  Returning home to ensure she doesn’t hurt anyone else, Thelma confesses all to her parents. Her parents are oddly nonplussed and agree to help rid her of the seizures and their unintended consequences.  Things start off on the wrong foot after Thelma’s parents lace her tea with a sedative–a pretty severe breach of teatime etiquette.

a man sits with a teenage girl in a dimly lit room

Is history repeating itself all over again?  And will Thelma manage to satisfyingly Carrie her horrible parents before they brainwash her completely?

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

This is a slow burn, and I really wish this hadn’t been marketed as a horror film.  Though it is haunting, the story is driven by its coming of age plotline and family drama rather than the supernatural elements.

However, I do love the very moody tone and the use of Thelma’s seizures to represent the suppression of her romantic feelings for Anja and her power as she becomes an adult independent from her parents.

After this review, I’ll most likely sign off until 2019.  See you when the Blog Collab returns for year 4?!?!?!?!?!!?  I can’t promise Christmas ’19 will be a festive one on the blog, but I can say quite confidently that we won’t serve you any tea containing sedatives without your consent.

Cheers to the dumpster fire that was 2018 being (nearly) over.

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Blogging 101, Writing

Writing 101: The Fashion Blog You Never Knew You Needed

I can’t pretend I’m even a little bit interested in the prompt for today (and by today I mean Wednesday). One of the suggestions: a series of vignettes connected by drinking your signature drink. This would be easier if my signature drink wasn’t tea and sadness. And by that, of course, I mean tea brewed with my tears and sweat. (Ugh, I’ll stop, I promise. I don’t want to be responsible for you being unable to drink another cup of tea again.)

So let’s talk about what I’ve been doing with my thrilling weekend. Today’s task (besides getting caught up with blogging, cooking, and watching Filth): sorting out my closet/making room for my nice new professional wardrobe (ha).

Honestly, I really, really like throwing things away. I have too much stuff, largely comprised of books, kitchen gadgets (you will pry my brûlée torch from my cold, dead fingers), and clothing. I also have a large collection of Beanie Babies in the basement that I was completely ready to donate, but my mom didn’t want to get rid of them (you’re part of the problem, Mom).

Since I know this sounds like the most fun ever, let’s play a game where you guess if I kept that piece of clothing, threw it away, or denied all knowledge of its existence (as in went back into old photos and edited it out, Stalin-style). Except not really a game because I’ll tell you immediately what decision I made. It’ll be more like I invited you over and told you we’d have a fun afternoon, but instead you got stuck with me interrogating you about my wardrobe decisions (and then completely disregarding everything you suggest).

We’ll start with an easy one:

20150927_153836
Keep. Obviously.

Outfit I wore for the freshman dance in high school. Throw away. Why do I even have this still?
Outfit I wore for the freshman dance in high school. Throw away. Why do I even have this still?

This one was hard because the fish are so cute, but the shirt is a bit on the short side. Throw away.
This one was hard because the fish are so cute, but the shirt is a bit on the short side. Throw away.

Felt weird about throwing away since I'll be working for my alma mater in a few short days (4!). Keep even though I have never in my life worn spirit wear except when gardening/cleaning. As my mom helpfully observed,
Felt weird about throwing away since I’ll be working for my alma mater in a few short days (4!). Keep even though I have never in my life worn spirit wear except when gardening/cleaning. As my mom helpfully observed, “You could wear it when you’re outside. Welllllll, you’re never outside, are you?” Thanks, Mom.

20150927_154457
I have no recollection of ever wearing (or buying) this. Why on earth do I have anything with such a large bow in my wardrobe? Throw away. Really not a bow kind of person.

Much as it pains me, throw away. Those owls are adorable, but this shirt is much too short.
Much as it pains me, throw away. Those owls are adorable, but this shirt is much too short.

Keep. Duh.
Keep. Duh.

Bertha Mason passed judgment on this one, so throw away.
Bertha Mason passed judgment on this one, so throw away. “I call this a statement piece. It makes the statement ‘I have no taste in fashion.'”

How did you do?  And, more importantly, how did I do?  In 10 years am I going to look back and think my life could’ve been completely different if only I’d kept that dress with the giant ass bow?

Blogging 101

Anatomy of a Blog Post

For this Blogging 101 post, I’m trying 2 new things:  1.  New format.  2.  Abnormally low word count.

This is essentially the Behind the Music version of my blog (with slightly less drama, drug use, etc.).  In photos, these are the essential elements of my typical blog posts:

Lately I can’t blog without Whitney.  She gets my rage.

Coming up in honor of Halloween:  Movies featuring the Brutal, Ludicrous, Or Otherwise Deranged.  Yeah…October is BLOOD month.  It will be a change of pace from the sober and reflective posts that typify this blog.